117 East Gilmer Street, Big Sandy, TX 75755 (903) 636-4334

In Memoriam

Our website is lovingly dedicated to the memory of William L. Kelley, 1948-1999. Beginning his career in insurance in 1970, Bill Kelley started his insurance career in California. Circumstances led him to an agency in Texas the following year where he had the opportunity to purchase a local insurance agency.

Over the course of the next 28 years, Bill purchased and sold twelve insurance agencies. He owned and operated agencies in the Texas cities of Big Sandy, Van, Troup, Gladewater, Longview, and Tyler. Bill Kelley spent his life building his business and developing relationships with a wide range of people. He built those relationships by providing products, service, education and friendship.

William Lindsey Kelley was born on October 1, 1948 to R.V. & Dorothy Kelley of Madisonville, KY. Bill's parents were moving to another house the day he was born. From that day forward, Bill never stopped moving. He loved horses and guns, (everything his mother was afraid of) and his favorite hunting partner was his dog, Lassie. Bill attended Ambassador University in Pasadena, California and graduated in 1970 with a Liberal Arts degree and a major in Theology.

After college graduation, Bill married the love of his life, Laura Ann Lane. They built their Texas home in 1976. Inside that home they raised three children — twins, Jennifer & Kristofer and youngest son, Kyle. Bill Kelley worked hard to be a successful entrepreneur. He was innovative and creative and was always thinking "outside the box". His determination and service, made him well-known as a man that was willing to go the extra mile(s) to get a task done. Bill always took a stand for what was right. He was well respected as a public servant in his community.

Bill Kelley stayed active in his community, schools and church throughout his life. He loved his family and friends. The same family and friends are a living testament to his life of commitment and service. He exemplified the biblical example of a servant because he truly "laid down his life for his friends".

 

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During his lifetime, Bill worked with the following community organizations: 

  • He reintroduced the Chamber of Commerce to Big Sandy in 1977 and served as President.
  • Member Rotary Club.
  • Voted Big Sandy Man of the Year in 1991 by the Chamber of Commerce.
  • Received Distinguished Agency Award seven times from Allstate Insurance Company.
  • Served on board of directors for Professional Insurance Agents of Austin, TX.
  • Traveled the U.S. teaching for Certified Insurance Counselors organization.
  • Taught CE classes through the Independent Insurance Agents of Texas, of Austin, TX
  • Volunteered with Big Sandy Little League for seven years (President for two years).
  • Member of PTA, Academic Boosters and Athletic Boosters.
  • Basketball referee in East Texas chapters of the SBOA for eleven years.
  • Served as Upshur County Rep. in 1998 for the Re-election campaign of George Bush.
  • Involved with the Big Sandy Ministerial Alliance.
  • Served four years as Youth Pastor at his local church.